Friday, March 21, 2014

Captivating: To Be a Woman

Security is not found in the absence of danger,
 but in the presence of Jesus.

     This singular statement from Captivating summarizes a lot. I have just finished reading Captivating as a part of an assignment of one of my classes. It has brought many parts of my life into perspective and has challenged me to find my identity and security in the presence of Christ rather than in locking myself away. Captivating has spoken the truth to me that I do not need to strive for anything. This book has declared I do have something to offer this world. I am a woman, and I am valuable.
     Satisfaction is not found in our striving. As women, we often seek to be better. We feel the obligation to strive for some goal we feel as if we can never attain. We tend not to feel we measure up, and we often feel the need to be someone who we simply are not. In the book, Stasi Eldredge said, “The more his we become, the more ourselves we become; more our true selves… To have a gentle and quiet spirit is to have a heart of faith, a heart that trusts in God, a spirit that has been quieted by his love and filled with peace. Not a heart that is striving and restless.” You see, the more his that we become, the more that we truly become ourselves. When we are okay with who we are, we are at rest. We quiet striving and attempting to compensate for our lack of grace, lack of femininity, lack of something. A woman in her glory who is of great beauty is the woman who quits striving to become something more than she is. She doesn’t have to strive for beauty, worth or being enough because she is centered in God and He says that she is enough. I am enough when I recognize my identity in Christ. It is a vague statement to make: “Find your identity in Christ.” This is something I have heard for years, and yet I don’t believe I have truly found it. I struggled with passages such as the verses in 1 John which clearly state that if I am sinning I do not truly know God. I am clearly imperfect. I have discovered this identity to be more of an understanding of Christ. When I know who Christ is, I am content with who He created me to be. I don’t have to spend my life striving to be someone I am not.
      Sometimes I resort to hiding my heart, and locking myself away. I would rather remain distant than truly be a part of what is going on around me. But I no longer need to hide. Hiding, in the past, has brought me security. I t has made me feel okay with myself. I’m not completely satisfied in my identity in Christ, but I can at least ignore most of the things which I don’t like about myself. Yet, while reading Captivating I have realized that I truly am worth something more than what I have previously understood. God has created me to be a helper. I bring something to the world. I am valuable. As a woman, I value relationships and I pursue holding them together. These are things I am made to do, things which I can thrive in doing, but also things which are intimidating to do. Without this purpose, I find it easier to go back into hiding. Realizing this purpose and understanding that I have a very unique purpose as woman brings me into actually fulfilling that purpose. Women are important and needed in this world. When God created us, He had a clear purpose in mind for every single one of us. I see our value; I understand that I have a unique and special purpose.
Captivating has caused me to realize so many things about my soul and spirit. He shows me exactly where my satisfaction can be found: in His presence. So many of these things I have likely heard before, in passing. However, the Lord has been working on my heart so that this book could truly not have come at a better time. I praise God for His work, and I thank John and Stasi Eldredge for their faithfulness to write this book. It has challenged me in many ways, and I have much to ponder. 

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